San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz to Trump: You Can’t Handle the Truth


WASHINGTON — Denied her chance to testify before Congress Wednesday, the mayor of Puerto Rico’s largest city used a Capitol hallway to heap criticism on President Donald Trump, saying he “can’t handle the truth.”

Six weeks since the monstrous hurricane hit the island, San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz said the island remains in a “life or death” situation.

“The Trump administration can’t handle the truth,” she said, adding that “survival cannot be our new way of life.”

Cruz was supposed to testify Wednesday before the House Committee on Homeland Security, but the hearing was abruptly canceled. Cruz got news of the cancellation after she had already headed to Washington. Brock Long, the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency testified on Tuesday.

“I am here to say what I was going to say at that hearing, that they seemed not to want to hear,” she said. “Mr. Trump, do your job. Lives are at stake. This is not about politics. This is not about your ego. This is about the people of Puerto Rico and the people of the U.S. VI (Virgin Islands).”

In a response, White House spokeswoman Helen Aguirre Ferré defended the administration’s work since the aftermath.

“The Trump administration continues to work earnestly with government officials of Puerto Rico … FEMA was on the island prior to Hurricanes Irma and Maria, during the storms and remains still with 16,500 men and women providing critical humanitarian supplies and support not only to the governor and mayors, but most importantly, to the people of Puerto Rico who are our main concern,” Ferré said.

Rep. Bennie Thompson and San Juan, Puerto Rico Mayor Carmen Yul?n Cruz

Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., gets a hug from San Juan, Puerto Rico Mayor Carmen Yul?n Cruz after a news conference in the Capitol Visitors Center, Nov. 1, 2017.